Violent Crimes Overview
Violent crime cases draw the most severe penalties.
The Value of a Good Attorney
A conviction for any type of crime becomes part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another crime, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case. A conviction for a violent crime – even a misdemeanor – can hurt you when you are looking for a job or applying to rent a house or apartment. A convicted felon loses the right to vote and carry firearms and can lose certain professional licenses.
An experienced attorney can determine whether you have any grounds for dismissal of the charges against you, explore plea options or represent you at trial. A knowledgeable attorney will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.
In Texas, burglary is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining in any structure with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault inside. “Home invasion” is included in this definition, and refers specifically to a burglary that occurs within a habitation.
The punishment for a burglary conviction depends on the circumstances of the crime.
Burglary of a building that is not a habitation is a state jail felony, and occurs when a defendant unlawfully enters or remains in a public or private building (but not a habitation) with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault.
Burglary of a habitation, or home invasion, is a second degree felony, and occurs when a defendant unlawfully enters or remains in a habitation with the intent to commit a felony theft or an assault therein. The crime increases to a first degree felony if the defendant entered the habitation with the intent to commit a felony other than felony theft therein.
Robbery is a theft with an added element of violence.
According to the Texas Penal Code, robbery is doing either of the following in the commission of a theft:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another, or
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening or placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
Robbery is a second degree felony and carries a potential 2 to 20 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.
Aggravated Robbery is a more serious charge. If you are accused of committing robbery charges and:
- Cause serious bodily injury to another,
- Use or exhibit a deadly weapon, or
- Cause bodily injury to another or threaten or place another in fear of injury or death when that person is either 65 years old or disabled.
This offense is classified as a first degree felony. First degree felony convictions carry up to 99 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Murder & Manslaughter
Murder is knowing and intentionally causing the death of an individual, or intending to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes death to another individual.
Manslaughter is reckless conduct that causes the death of another person.
As with all other crimes, the circumstances of the crime affects the punishment range and ability to negotiate within those ranges.